Middleham trainer Mark Johnston breaks record for number of winners in a calendar year at Kempton

Mark Johnston broke the record for the total number of winners trained in a calendar year in Britain when Bavardages came home in front at Kempton on Monday.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 8:54 pm
Updated Monday, 28th October 2019, 8:57 pm
Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston broke the record for the total number of winners trained in a calendar year in Britain when Bavardages came home in front at Kempton on Monday.

Ridden by Joe Fanning, the 8-1 chance got the better of Kuwaity by three-quarters of a length in the Magical Fireworks Spectacular Here On Saturday Nursery Handicap.

Johnston, 60, who last year became the most successful trainer in terms of career winners in Britain, was saddling his 236th winner of 2019.

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The previous record of 235 been shared between Richard Hannon senior, who set his best tally in 2013, and Richard Fahey, who equalled the mark in 2015, until Johnston joined them when Bo Samraan won at Pontefract.

Johnston said: "We knew it would come some time. I wasn't going chasing any records, the horses were only going to run if it was right for them and it would happen eventually.

"He disappointed a bit on his first three runs, one of which was a sales races which we put him in because he was qualified to run.

"He's a nice, big, scopey horse and hopefully he can go on from here - he got the job done."

Before this year, Johnston, who trains at Kingsley House in Middleham, North Yorkshire, had a personal best of 226.

Johnston saddled an incredible 50 winners in July alone, having sent out 215 runners with a hugely impressive strike-rate of 23 per cent.

His standout performers this year have included the prolific King's Advice, St Leger runner-up Sir Ron Priestley and Dee Ex Bee, who if not for Stradivarius might well have ruled the roost in the staying division.